Hot weather – bugs and parasites
Warmer weather plays host to a number of parasites which commonly affect pets such as fleas, heartworm and in the more northern and north eastern parts of Australia, ticks. Here's a snapshot and some further reading for the most common warm weather parasites you should be aware of.
Fleas thrive in hot and muggy Australian conditions so now is a great time to make sure your pet is up to date with their monthly flea treatment. Left untreated, flea infestations can lead to further complications including skin disease, tapeworms and in some cases dogs can be allergic to fleas. Also of interest is a recent report of the first Australian case of cat flea typhus in humans. Whilst another case of this is highly unlikely it is yet another good reason to prevent and treat fleas on family pets. Learn more about fleas and flea prevention here.
With warmer temperatures and unpredictable periods of rain and in some areas flooding, it is more likely to see large populations of mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are responsible for spreading Heartworm disease between pets. Heartworms are parasites that are able to live inside the arteries of the lung and chambers of a pet's heart and feed on surrounding blood. In severe cases heartworms can grow up to 30cm long and 2cm thick in populations of over 200. Read more about heartworm here.
There are a number of types of ticks, some of which are a nuisance such as the bush tick, right through to Paralysis Tick which causes many fatalities each year. The Paralysis Tick is found all the way up the Eastern Seaboard from Bairnsdale in Eastern Victoria northwards and around to the Northern Territory. Very occasional reports also occur elsewhere in rural Victoria. They are particularly rife in Sydney and North from there. If your pet is travelling to any of these areas we strongly recommend tick prevention products such as Advantix and Frontline.
WARNING: Please note not all products are suitable for every pet. In particular never use a dog product on a cat, as some of these can be very toxic to our feline friends. If you have any doubts or concerns about which product is best for your situation, please contact us.